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Restoration of the Old Naval Hospital

Update - December 14, 2005

OPM Says It Has No Plan, No Process, No Use For Restoration

In a startlingly short presentation in front of the ANC last night, Aimee Occhetti of the Office of Property Management, gave no details for the ongoing restoration of the Old Naval Hospital. In three minutes, she told an audience of some 40 people that they (OPM) have started the restoration with $400,000 they had by working on the south facing windows, doors and will soon begin on the cast iron stairs and portico.

No drawings or process for proceeding were offered nor was there any discussion of the quality or review of the ongoing work, although an end date of March for the current work, was established.

In response to a question from a neighbor, she said that OPM had no process in place for the restoration, but that they specifically would NOT be doing it the way they had already tried (the technical, open, request for proposal process). Since that process was an open, fair, community-involved process, one can only assume that they are planning on a closed process with little or no community involvement.

That assumption was borne out when she stated that the Mayor would have to decide what is to be done and what use the building will be put to. She indicated that she thought it would be used for something like a government agency.

In mentioning the $6 million now in the budget for the restoration, she indicated that no plan or process was in place or planned for the expenditure of those funds on the building.

Given the paucity of information, we are left with the prospect that the restoration is being done with little concern for the community or for the quality of the restoration.

It thus seems highly likely that historical icons, such as the cast iron fence, may be lost forever, since the way the DC government is going about this work, is so disorganized and unfocussed, and the funding process and decision process is so closely held.

There was no request for community or technical input to OPM nor was there any indication that the Mayor or OPM had any idea of how the process should proceed or what the ultimate use of the building would be.

This site is sponsored by the Friends of the Old Naval Hospital

Last updated November 11, 2008